Freeda Cathcart Announces As Democratic Candidate For 17th District

John Edwards & Freeda Cathcart
John Edwards & Freeda Cathcart

by Valerie Garner

Virginia State Senator John Edwards (D-21) introduced Freeda Cathcart as his running mate at his campaign headquarters Monday afternoon. They will share office space at the corner of Campbell Avenue and Williamson Road. Republican Delegate Dave Nutter is challenging Edwards.

Cathcart said she “has been greeted with enthusiasm across the district” and believes her “chances are good because I am a hard worker and I have the support of other hard workers.”

Job growth is her highest priority. Cathcart said, “the biggest complaints among high-paying employers is that there aren’t enough well educated potential employees to hire for engineering and technology jobs.” She sees a need to educate today’s children with the skills needed today. “The more people qualified for high income jobs, then the more potential exists for a higher return for state revenue,” she said.

Cathcart served in the Roanoke College Student Government as a Senator. She said she knew she wanted to serve since she was a Girl Scout. Cathcart worked at Shenandoah Life Insurance Company where she participated on a committee that served the homeless. After deciding to stay home and care for her children, she volunteered by being a La Leche League Leader and coaching her children’s soccer teams.

She took her children to Richmond to lobby for causes they cared about. They tracked the progress of bills through the General Assembly. One issue she focused on was the passage of the Certified Professional Midwifery bill. “My experience with moving the Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) bill through the General Assembly has prepared me for being an effective legislator,” said Cathcart.

A couple of years after the CPM bill passed she was appointed by Governor Tim Kaine to serve on the Advisory Board for Midwifery as the Consumer Representative. “Dozens of small businesses have been created in our Commonwealth following the passage of the CPM bill,” she said.

Cathcart and her husband Clinton have four sons. They live in the Grandin Court area and currently home-school their children. She has also worked for the Child Health Investment Partnership where she helped families with newborn babies from different socio-economic backgrounds. Cathcart is President of the Grandin Court Neighborhood Association.

“The other candidate for the 17th says that he’s for less government. I am for effective and efficient government that serves the interests of the people well,” said Cathcart.

Cathcart will face Republican Chris Head for the 17th House of Delegates seat in November.